United States Senate Whitewater Committee
The Senate Whitewater Committee was a special committee convened by the United States Senate during the Clinton administration to investigate the Whitewater scandal. The formal, official name of the committee was the Special Committee to Investigate Whitewater Development Corporation and Related Matters and it was administered by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
The committee was created by S.Res. 120 ("A resolution establishing a special committee administered by the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to conduct an investigation involving Whitewater Development Corporation, Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan Association, Capital Management Services, Inc., the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, and other related matters") on May 17, 1995, as approved by the Senate, 96-3. The committee's hearings ran for 300 hours over 60 sessions across 13 months, taking over 10,000 pages of testimony and 35,000 pages of depositions from almost 250 people; many of these marks were records for Senate committees. The committee issued an 800-page final majority report on June 18, 1996, concluding its activities.
Some key figures of the Senate Whitewater Committee were:
- Al D'Amato (Republican - New York), chair
- Paul Sarbanes (Democratic - Maryland), ranking member
- Michael Chertoff - majority (Republican) counsel
- Richard Ben-Veniste - minitory (Democratic) counsel
Unlike the 1973 Senate Watergate Committee hearings, the Whitewater hearings did not receive much public interest. They were televised on C-SPAN, not the major networks; they were reported on in daily newspapers, but rarely made evening newscasts. Media critics rated the hearings a "snooze"; there were few dramatic moments of testimony, as D'Amato and Chertoff were unable to find any "smoking guns" for their case.
- David Maraniss, "The Hearings End Much as They Began", The Washington Post, June 19, 1996. Accessed June 30, 2007.
- Brian Knowlton, "Republican Report Stokes the Partisan Fires : Whitewater Unchained", International Herald-Tribune, June 19, 1996. Accessed June 30, 2007.